Letters: Cancel Fortis negotiations

Open letter to Mayor Litke:

I understand that you are currently in negotiation with Fortis on an agreement to upgrade the Westminster electrical substation.

I feel the City of Penticton could be creating a dangerous precedent.

The agreement calls for the city to pay Fortis millions of dollars to replace a transformer owned by Fortis.  We have had several telephone conversations on this subject and I informed you that media sources and senior staff in the city’s electrical department confirmed Fortis’ ownership of the transformer.

However, each time we spoke you insisted the transformer is the property of the city. Mr. Mayor, you appear to be misinformed. You would be well-advised to thoroughly investigate the subject of ownership as it is critical to your decision-making on this matter.

Once you have determined that Fortis does indeed own the transformer at the substation, under no circumstances should our city bankroll the upgrade of equipment owned and operated by Fortis.

Over the last six years our electricity rates have increased by 42 per cent.

As you know, Fortis applied to the utilities commission for substantial rate increases to cover costs to upgrade their aging equipment.

If there are to be any upgrades to Fortis’ equipment in Penticton all the costs should be borne by Fortis and not the city.

Mr. Mayor please pull the plug on your negotiations, earn the gratitude of the citizens of our fair city. It’s the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.

Gerry Gilligan



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